Getting into road accidents is a fear that many people have in common, and if you have ever been in one, you know how much trouble it can cause. After realizing what happened, the health and vehicle conditions of everybody involved should be your priority, not how much the accident will cost you financially. That is where vehicle insurance comes into place; where you transfer the risk of future costs regarding your vehicle to the insurance company to pay compensation.
That being said, there are still many drivers behind the wheels without insurance, and the risk of having accidents with these people is always there, even if you have done all the right things on your part.
In those circumstances, it is imperative for you to know your options and by following this article, you will be able to handle the situation accordingly. Let’s take a look:
1. Stay calm
Losing your temper will not make the situation any better since the accident has already happened. If the other driver is at fault for the situation, they will usually be apologetic right away after realizing they have made a mistake, and because they do not have vehicle insurance, they will try to offer you some money to avoid legal repercussions.
Staying calm in this situation will help you understand which option is better, taking the money or not… Since the damages and injuries caused are still unknown, it is wise to hold off and follow the next step.
2. Seek Legal Counsel and File a Lawsuit
Especially when the other driver has no insurance, it is highly likely that you will have to file a lawsuit against the other driver, and much of this depends on the law of your states. Whether you live in a no-fault or traditional negligence state will have an impact on the correct steps to take in order to sue an uninsured driver but it is certain that your best chance of a successful outcome is by hiring a specialist attorney. If you try to go it alone, it will cost you time and money in the process with no guarantee of winning the settlement. An experienced lawyer will represent your interests, especially if you suffered serious injuries during the accident and incurred substantial medical bills.
3. Call the police
If you are involved in a road accident of any kind, you should call the police right after it happens, regardless of whether the other driver has vehicle insurance or not. If the accident results in injuries and damages, a trained police officer will be an invaluable and much-needed source of help and information. In most cases, their job is to protect the accident scene, investigate and document the details about the accident in a police report, as well as calling an ambulance or taking you to the nearest ER if needed.
The police report is a critical document that will be useful later, especially if you decide to file a car insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit afterward. In that case, make sure to get a copy of the report after it is written.
4. Gather Information and Details
Even in minor accidents, the police will advise you to exchange the information with the other driver. If you are wondering about what details to swap; names, addresses, telephone numbers, and vehicle information are absolutely key. In this specific case where the other driver is uninsured, the information given might be false, so keep in mind to verify the details given and insist that everybody stays at the scene until the police arrive.
Additional contact information of any witnesses as well as the name and badge number of the responding officer can also be helpful in the process. Pictures of the damage and injuries caused by the accident will also come in handy later. Make a basic report of your own with information and pictures gathered.
5. Inform your Insurance Company
The next thing to do after gathering all the details you need is to contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. Explaining that you were hit by an uninsured driver is crucial and makes sure to prepare the following information.
- Your insurance details, particularly your policy number
- The date, time and location that the accident happened
- A detailed report of the accident – your own report and relevant photos, along with the police report
- The contact information of the other driver, since there is no insurance information available
- Names of the police officers and the police department that was involved
You never know when or if you will have a run-in with an uninsured driver, but it is always beneficial to understand what to do in such circumstances. Being proactive about your vehicle protection is very important and by paying extra for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you will be left with peace of mind in case such an incident occurs.